I saw the quote "Be in the Moment Before the Moment is Gone" the other day and thought about how much it truly resonates with the Help Yourself to Happy Challenge. Working and living in the city that never sleeps makes it is very easy to have a go, go, go attitude. Frequently, I find myself and my clients jumping from activity to activity, getting caught up in what is happening in the news, and feeling rushed and pressured to get to the next place. At times it feels like it is impossible to slow down, but the reality is, if you don’t, you will miss out on all the wonderful things that are happening in your life.
Being in the moment before the moment is gone presents challenges to every population that I work with. For children, it might be always looking for the next toy or technological device to play with rather than just being with their friends. For teenagers, it is the constant drive to succeed academically to get into a good college who often end up feeling that this decision will determine their future. For adults, it is finding the balance between work, family, and friendships, all which present challenges of their own as well as trying to find time to fit them all in. Being a “clock watcher” and constantly thinking about what the next thing will be can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and sadness which is why it is important to think about ways in which you can stay in the moment and relax.
Here are some strategies to help you reduce those go, go, go feelings and to help you stay present in the moment.
1. Take a deep breath. It has been proven that if you stop what you are doing and take a very deep breath, you will be able to clear your mind and prepare better for what is coming next. This will also help you to slow down. Here is a guide to help learn how to breathe deeply.
2. Plan slow-down moments in your day. If possible, put built in breaks in your calendar and use the time as a way to think about staying in the moment before jumping to the next.
3. Take the pressure off your loved ones. If you are a parent, try to think about what overscheduling or pressure from work or home life feels like to you. This will help you to think about supporting your child to stay grounded and alleviate future “clock watching” behaviors.
4. Take time for yourself and change the way you think. Do the things you love and never say, “there is just not enough time.” Thinking positively about remaining present will help ensure that you can have that time
Being in the moment before the moment is gone is not an easy task to achieve. Becoming more aware of how you approach your day, as well as practicing strategies to help you reduce feelings of pressure and stress will allow you to help improve your happiness and your overall well-being.